Monday, September 6, 2010

The Perfect Lesson

Dear Family,
On the way to the internet in the bus I smelled fresh cut grass! I have to tell you that this smell reminds me so much of home and isn´t very common here, because no one has grass around their house.

Deyse and Millaray
Yesterday in sacrament meeting they both got up and gave their testimonies. They were so beautiful. They literally dream, pray, talk, walk, play, and testify about baptism. This week they were walking home from their friend´s house when Millaray ran into a light post. When we visited them that night she had a huge goose egg in the middle of her forehead. Then later in the week a dark bruise formed, covering her forehead and between her eyes. She is embarrassed because she is all swollen and when she came to church yesterday she was trying to cover her face with her sweater. Pray that she can heal fast!

Carolina and the Fuentealva Family
Carolina still hasn´t come to church and will not be able to be baptized before we leave. But we had really spiritual lessons this week with all of the family, reading in the Book of Mormon. She understands the scriptures really well, but is battling with herself to get out of bed Sunday mornings. The rest of her family are members and are really good people. They love to have us in their home and this week fed us calzones rotos. Mmmmhhh. Delish. In thinking about them I have thought about how there are a lot of good people in the world, that help others a lot, but sometimes forget or don´t know how to help themselves. So I am hoping that we can help them to help themselves.

Sergio is the boyfriend of Solange, a member in our branch. Solange and her sons introduced Sergio and his sons to the church a year ago. In that time the two sons have been baptized, Hermana Chapman taught them, but not Sergio. I have felt in the last couple weeks that we needed to have a go at teaching him. We set two appointments this week and both fell through. Then yesterday he came to church and we visited him in the afternoon. I had felt all week long that we needed to have a really in-depth talk about the restoration, start from the beginning, asking him about his beliefs concerning God. We sat down at the table with Solange, Rosa another hermana from the branch, and Sergio had Rosa´s grandson in his arms. The baby provided a lot of distractions for Sergio at the beginning, but we were able to start talking about the nature of God. Everyone responded to the question, “who is God?” I read them 3 Nefi 11:36 and we talked about the different responsibilities that Heavenly Father, Christ and the Holy Ghost have. Then we asked them how they know that God exists. Sergio said that he knew because it is what prophets have said and that they have learned about him through the Spirit. Perfect answer. Then Sergio got distracted by a phone call and went upstairs for a few minutes. When he came back down the baby got really fussy and Hermana Rosa had to take him home, that freed Sergio up to focus a little more. We started to talk about the family and apostasy. We asked lots of questions, which helped Sergio to open up and allowed us to understand his desires for his life and what he already knows to be true. We started to talk about President Monson and asked him if he knows that President Monson is a prophet, he said no, that he has HEARD that he is a prophet. At this point he was sitting on the couch and got up and came back over to the table. He asked how we know. We talked about what Christ says about the false prophets and how we can know them by their fruits, then we started to talk about the Book of Mormon and it came out that he has never really read the scriptures and he said, “I don´t know how to pray.” Solange said, “Yes you know how to pray, you say prayers before we eat.” Then I said, “Sergio, I don´t know how to pray either.” I told him that even though I am a missionary and have been raised in the church, I still don´t feel like I know how to pray. This is the moment when everything changed for Sergio. This is when the promise in 2 Nephi 33:1 was fulfilled with Sergio. We talked about how praying requires faith and to increase our faith we need to learn about God in the scriptures. When we read in the Book of Mormon God becomes more real, we hear his voice, we come to know him. Sergio said that he was going to really pray last night. He has told lots of missionaries before that he was going to pray, but he never did it and this time he was going to really do it with all his heart. And he was so excited to read in the Book of Mormon that we left him. We are going to visit him today. Pray that he receives an answer.

Ben sent me a talk by Elder Holland that says that we need to teach lessons with the Spirit so that the missionary, neither, the member, neither the investigator would want to be in any other place. We felt that Spirit yesterday. We had a connection with God. Tears were shed and changes were made. And for that I am here. And I can´t believe that I only have three more weeks to do this work.

I love you all so much,
Hermana Arnold

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